How was it permissible to kill all of the people Shechem?

More obvious hashgacha pratit….

I sat down to read this week’s Shivivei Or, which brings the Rav’s latest shiurim all neatly typed up, and whaddya know? 

He gave a whole shiur back on November 20th, where he went into a lot of detail about the halachic debate between the RAMBAM and the RAMBAN on whether it was permissible, halachically, for Shimon and Levi to have killed all the people of Shechem, after their prince (Shechem…) raped and kidnapped Yaakov’s daughter Dina.

‘Dean Maughvet’ also gets a few mentions….

So without any further ado, here it is:


Excerpt of a shiur given in Beer Sheva on Monday, 7th Kislev 5784

Now, all of Be’eri is sending their children to cheider.

Some of them are in Eilat, some of them are to be found in Mishmar HaEmek, some went to Mishmar HaYarden – and all of them are looking for cheiders.

Now, [they are] saying that everything happened to us because we don’t learn Torah, because we didn’t teach our children Torah.

Without the Torah, it’s impossible – impossible! – to fight with the whole world.

Even Biden said give it to Hamas, give it to Abu Mazen. Abu Mazen is a tzaddik, I know that he’s a tzaddik. What a tzaddik…. So give it to Abu Mazen, the authority.

What, all day long you just conquer and conquer! How many [Jews] were killed?! 1500, 1400, they are saying it’s just 1200. So, kill 1200 [terrorists]! How many have you killed, already?! Without stopping, you just don’t stop. From the start, you just didn’t know how to stop!


Like in Shechem.

[Shimon and Levi] killed everyone. Poor things…

Twenty four thousand, 24,000 funerals! It was impossible to stand up, there was no room, not in Assouta, not in Ashdod, not in Soroka, there wasn’t room, not in Ichilov and not in Tel HaShomer.[1]

24,000 were killed! What do you do with 24,000 dead?

And they took the women and the children.


So the RAMBAN asks, why didn’t Yaacov do it (i.e. Kill all the inhabitants of Shechem after the rape and kidnapping of Dina.)?

And he even cursed them! [Shimon and Levi]: “Accursed is their rage for it is intense, and their wrath for it is harsh.”[2]

What does it mean, accursed is their rage for it is intense? Why say accursed is their rage for it is intense?

They did something good, they freed their sister, they freed Dina their sister. And this things should have been done by Yaakov, not to leave the brothers to do it.


Except, Yaakov knew that they needed to fight with the whole city, because why, really, did [Shimon and Levi] kill the whole city?

Because the whole city was protecting Shechem [i.e. The one who raped and kidnapped Dina].

Yaakov was the pinnacle of kedusha (holiness). Yaakov was the fairest of the Patriarchs, his brit was rectified. Reuven was born from the first drop. For 84 years, he didn’t have any ‘drops’ – no drops!


Their blood was as important to them as water.

The RAMBAM says that they deserved din mavet (a death sentence).

The RAMBAN says, what are you talking about, they deserved din mavet?! What, are you a beit din? Are you a Sanhedrin?

What’s the explanation of ‘din mavet’? You need to bring a Sanhedrin, to bring a beit din. So, how are you murdering a whole city?

And Yaakov knew that if he would go to get Dina out, that the whole city would come to defend, the whole city would come to protect Shechem. Shechem was the most important, he was son of Hamor. His father was called ‘Hamor’.


It’s like Shimshon said:

With the jawbone of a donkey, heap upon heaps. With the jawbone of a donkey I have struck down a thousand men.”[3]

Each blow from Shimshon was 1,000 men. And he killed even more people with his death than in his life, because then [at the time he died, he killed] 3,000 [Philistines]. But this was only the ones standing on the roof. Inside, there were millions upon millions, maybe billions. And it’s impossible to know how many.

And so now, they [i.e. The Palestinians in Gaza] are paying for everything.

Because Shimshon said: “My Lord Hashem / Elokim! Remember me and strengthen me and strengthen me just this one time, O God, and I will exact vengeance from the Philistines for one of my two eyes!”[4]

The whole matter is ‘one eye’, not two eyes….


It’s written that Armilus the Rasha will come with ‘one eye’.

Armilus the Rasha, who will make the war of Gog and Magog, he will come with just one eye. He will have just one eye in his forehead.

You should know, that this is Armilus. Know how to recognise him! Identify him!

But only the great-grandchildren of the great-grandchildren of your great-grandchildren will see him, Armilus the Rasha.

Then, no trace of the Jewish people will remain, just 7,000 men. From all of Am Yisrael, just 7,000!

And then Armilus the Rasha will come with his one eye, and he’s meant to conquer Eretz Yisrael – but he won’t succeed.


[Skipping some]

So now, the RAMBAN’s question is why didn’t Yaakov free Dina, if it was a mitzvah to free Dina – then Yaakov should free her!

Yaakov Avinu was meant to do it before them. The person who was meant to have freed Dina was Yaakov Avinu. It’s not appropriate for Shimon and Levi. True, Dina was their sister, but even  more so – [Yaakov was her father].


So, the RAMBAM says that he [Shechem] deserved the sword [i.e. beheading – one of the four types of death meted out by a Beit Din].

Everyone deserved the sword, all the people of Shechem deserved death, because Shechem stole Dina, and they didn’t judge him.

So, the RAMBAM says this about the book of Judges. The RAMBAM says why were they deserving of death? – halacha 14, as an aside to the commandment to set up courts of judgement.

The RAMBAM says that it’s permitted to kill them, these Gazans, because now they are going to them 30,000 liters of petrol a a day.

I asked for one liter, and they didn’t give it to me. No, I’m telling you the truth, this hurt me a lot.

So, 30,000 a day, and they are going to up this to 90,000 [liters of petrol] a day. So instead of destroying all of Gaza, they are giving them 30,000 [liters] a day.


The non-Jews are commanded to set up courts, they are obligated to set up courts and judges.

They don’t have any courts, and they don’t have any judges. They went to murder children, babies. They kidnapped babies 10 months old, they abducted babies.

In each and every region, they will be judged on these six mitzvot, and warn the people. And whichever Noachide transgresses one of these seven mitzvot will be killed by the sword.

Every Noachide who transgresses one of these seven commandments, to come to their own mother, the wife of his father, to commit adultery, to worship idols, or to ‘bless’ Hashem – even if he’s just transgressed one of the six categories of arayot[5], that they think it’s permitted for them to do…

The RAMBAM says, it doesn’t matter.

Even if they are sure they are permitted to do it, it’s still permitted to kill them [if they commit that transgression].

And all of them are doing it!

The six categories of arayot for them, or if they steal something, even if it’s worth less than a pruta… Or they eat something minimally associated with ever min hahai – because they don’t even know what ever min hahai is.


[The Rav now gets into a lengthy discussion again based on the Rambam’s ruling that chicken technically doesn’t require shechita from the Torah, but shechita is performed on fowl de’Rabbanan etc, before returning to the subject at hand.]


Now, we are asking, how was it permissible [according to halacha] to kill the people of Shechem?

And it’s written that the sons of Yaakov took hostage the women and children.

So, if you will say that the people of Shechem were against Dina being freed, because [the kidnapper] was Shechem, then it’s not possible to enter the city, Shechem.

Shuvu Banim don’t go into Shechem[6], it’s forbidden to enter Shechem, there’s no such thing as this.

But Yosef HaTzaddik is found in Shechem, and he chai v’kayam, and he protects those who travel to there.


So now, we are asking how was it permitted to kill the whole of Shechem, and to take captive the women and the children and the babies?

What did the women do? You can say that the men were still protecting Shechem, but the women couldn’t defend him. So, why take them captive? They took the women and the children, they took everyone into captivity.

Why did they do this? Why did they take everyone into captivity?

And if Dina needed to be freed, so Yaakov should have done this [and not Shimon and Levi].


Except, Yaakov was afraid.

He didn’t want to fight in Shechem, and also Biden didn’t let him.

Then, there was also ‘Biden Number 1’, today it’s ‘Biden Number 2’. So, there was ‘Biden Number 1’, who told him you are not going into Shechem. I don’t let you.

Like now, he’s not letting them go into Lebanon. Lebanon is firing tens of rockets every single day, but assur! He doesn’t let them go in. So they just fire back at them.

In the meantime, Shalom Aboudi from Tiberious was killed…He went to fix some electric cable and they fired a rocket at his car. It’s not known if even a trace remains of him. He was called Shalom Aboudi. This happened last Wednesday, in Dovev, Moshav Dovev.

He was meant to have fixed some electric cable there, and they fired a rocket at this car. So, the Hizbollah fired a rocket, and the State stays silent. Also now, in Sderot.

To be continued…BH


PS: The Rav has mentioned ‘Shimon Aboudi’ quite a few times now, so I went to look him up and I found this:


There is probably something ‘interesting’ going on with this… but I don’t know what.



[1] All names of hospitals in Israel.

[2] Bereishit 49:7.

[3] Judges 15:16.

[4] Judges 16:28.

[5] Sexual immorality.

[6] Whilst Shuvu Banim has been going into Shechem regularly, with or without an army escort, beginning in 5783, the Rav started to make some very strong statements telling Shuvu Banim that going into Shechem was currently very dangerous, and no-one should be going in by themselves.

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